April 13, 2018
2 min read

Bariatric surgery patients lose more weight when compliant with follow-up visits

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Patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass achieved greater weight loss if they adhered to follow-up bariatric visits during the first 2 years after surgery, according to new research presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons 2018 Annual Meeting and World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery.

“We have found that in addition to the bariatric procedure itself, compliance with bariatric surgery follow-up visits is important in achieving optimal weight loss outcomes,” study author Chetan Patel, MD, a general surgeon at University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “Our study shows that there is a statistically significant greater percent weight loss in patients that have higher compliance with their follow-up visits compared to patients that have a low compliance.”

Given that poor compliance with bariatric follow-up visits is common, Patel and colleagues sought to determine if increased compliance was associated with better weight loss outcomes. To do so, they retrospectively reviewed data on 872 adults (78.2% women; 69.7% European American; median age, 43 years) who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at their center between 2005 and 2016. They identified 357 patients as having low compliance, having attended one to three of eight scheduled follow-up visits, and 515 as having high compliance, attending four to eight visits. The groups showed no significant differences in age, sex, or race.

Patel and colleagues saw no difference in percentage of weight loss between groups after 1 year of follow-up, but patients with high compliance achieved a significantly greater percentage of weight loss after 2 years of follow-up (36% vs. 31%; P = .03).

Further analysis including outpatient institutional visits revealed significantly greater percent weight loss at both 1 and 2 years in those with high compliance (P < .01 for both).

Finally, after factoring in all scheduled bariatric visits and outpatient institutional visits within 2 years, they found patients with low compliance showed significantly lower percent weight loss (P < .01 for all).

The investigators concluded that additional research is needed to identify reasons for low follow-up compliance to improve outcomes in these bariatric patients. – by Adam Leitenberger


Patel C, et al. Abstract P606. Presented at: Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons 2018 Annual Meeting and World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery; April 11-14; Seattle, WA.

Disclosures: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.

Editor's note: This article was updated on April 16 with additional information from a study author.